With SuncéBeat about to enter its sixth year on 22nd - 29th July, the week-long celebration of all things soulful has positioned itself as one of the more intimate and joyous festivals to have adopted Croatia's stunning Dalmation Coast as its annual abode.
Taking place at the delightful Garden Tisno, SuncéBeat is brought to you by the team behind one of the UK's most loved soul celebrations - The Southport Weekender, and much like the weekender, music is of prime importance to the organisers (check our five must see acts here). Quality is paramount, and its that level of diligence that has won over an enormous family of SuncéBeat converts, who come from a myriad of different locations to unite in their shared musical passion.
The past six year have seen numerous SuncéBeat highlights - they were the first Croatian festival to welcome the likes of Prosumer, Larry Heard, and the mythical creature DJ Harvey for a start, but we wanted to find out more from the guys behind SuncéBeat themselves. We caught up with festival resident Gavin Kendrick to run through five of his personal highlights.
Wednesday Night on the Beach Stage
The opening Wednesday night of this week-long festival is often unexpectedly ecstatic as the first wave of SuncéBeat family touch down in Tisno and head straight to the beach stage for a sweltering night of disco, house and jazz-funk. This live recording retells the tale from SuncéBeat 4.
South Africa Boat Party
South African Sessions Boat Party. The Best party with my girls!!! Smashed it. Even better only Ben Brophy, Tash Cains and I representing St. Albans. Big up Dave and Alex
The South Africa Boat Party last year was probably the wildest sailing in the Argonaughty’s 100 year history, with the captain recounting later that he thought the boat might capsize!
Julian Gomes caused carnage on the waves when he played Karizma’s blistering Donnie cut up, ’Twyst This’. This year Black Coffee returns for his second appearance, with DJ Djeff Afrozila making his début, and resident Jonny Miller hosting once more.
Roller Boogie Boat Party
This videos captures Kenny Dope and Gilles Peterson bringing the lowdown sound of an eighties roller disco to Dalmatia - soul groove singalongs making the perfect summer’s day. This year, Kenny Dope’s longtime production partner Louie Vega makes his Tisno debut with a Dance Ritual boat party and a headline after hours slot at Barbarella’s.
Ron Trent’s Rainy Day
Whilst the sun often shines through the summer months in Croatia, it’s by no means guaranteed, and last year a freak downpour meant conditions were too dangerous for the Argonaughty to sail. Undeterred, the Altered States boat party happened under canvas in the Soul Tent, and Chicago legend Ron Trent played well beyond his allotted set time - the sun dramatically burning through the clouds as the afternoon unfolded.
Osunlade's Unannounced Beach Stage Set
It’s Tuesday night and things are winding up for another memorable week at our second home on the Adriatic coast. As the last record plays out, there’s a shuffle in the DJ booth and Osunlade, the Santorini sensation, steps up and delivers an unannounced three hour spectacular, sending the SuncéBeat faithful home with a finale that was thankfully recorded in full. Stream it above.